Range hoods don't have the best reputation. Although they serve an important purpose, they are usually known for detracting from a kitchen's otherwise elegant look. They're seldom a kitchen's intended focal point, but tend to draw the eye – and rarely in a good way.
Luckily, interior designers have found some genius ways around the age-old range hood eyesore, and they've transformed the necessity into a beautiful kitchen design feature. Here's how to hide your range hood – or make it shine in its own right – according to the experts.
How to make the range hood a chic part of your design scheme
When incorporated thoughtfully, a chic range hood idea can become an eye-catching feature of your kitchen's design scheme – or can be tactfully hidden away. This is how interior designers suggest fitting the range hood into your interior design style.
1. Integrate the hood completely
Frank Webb, interior designer and co-founder of New York City-based design firm White Webb, says that mindfully designed range hoods can make a statement in a large kitchen. However, when working with a small kitchen, nestling them away and pulling design inspiration from other areas of the room allows the rest of the space to breathe.
'When the hood occupies a significant amount of a room’s real estate, we prefer to integrate it into its surroundings. By doing so, you experience the room in its entirety instead of being overwhelmed by a potentially hulking beast,' says Frank.
In this gorgeous Southern California kitchen, White Webb decided to 'mask' the hood, tucking it away amongst the room's existing architecture. By adding in colorful and textured design elements, the range hood is allowed to blend beautifully with its environment.
'Embedding the range within an enormous arched niche, the cooking area feels cozily integrated into the space, while the addition of colorful encaustic kitchen tiles in a Spanish Revival style accentuates the arch and provides an air of celebration,' says Frank.
Frank Webb is co-founder of White Webb, a New York City-based design studio, alongside Matthew White.
2. Blend with nearby cabinetry
In a similar vein, matching your range hood with its surrounding kitchen cabinets is a simple and stunning way to ensure your design scheme is cohesive and composed. Ben Herzog, architect and founder of Ben Herzog Architect, PC, says his team has used this tactic many times.
'We often like to center a range hood between equally-sized upper cabinet runs on a wall. This typically gives a nice, balanced composition to the kitchen with ample counter space on either side of the range. It also makes the hood a prominent, central feature to the kitchen,' says Ben.
In the contemporary kitchen pictured above, the range hood blends effortlessly into the surrounding cabinetry, allowing the kitchen's overall design scheme to carry. But Ben has also concealed range hoods more strategically, fashioning pull-out or pop-up hoods for clients who preferred the sleek and hidden look.
'Since everyone always hangs out in the kitchen and the hood is a central feature of the kitchen, it is important to give some thought as to how it appears,' he says.
Ben Herzog has an extensive background in architecture, and is the founder of his New York-based firm, Ben Herzog Architect, PC.
3. Opt for a pop-up range hood
If the range hood is proving difficult to blend with your design style, inventive pop-up features make it easy to stow the hood within your kitchen counter or kitchen island. Elizabeth Krueger, principal designer of Elizabeth Krueger Design, says this design method works wonderfully when you want to keep this kitchen feature out of the way.
'We have done pop up hoods that come up from the countertop and retract when not in use. It is a fabulous way to make it not feel like a kitchen!' she says.
In this kitchen, designed by Ben Herzog Architect, PC, a range hood is stealthily stowed in a marble island countertop, allowing for easy access without the visual clutter.
Elizabeth Krueger is the principal designer of Elizabeth Krueger Design, an award-winning firm based in Chicago and Cleveland.
4. Try a dropped hood over islands
Another option for integrating a range hood into an island starts with the kitchen ceiling. In this genius solution, pictured above, the hood hides above the countertop – descending when necessary but staying stowed when the stove's not working.
'Unless you look up, you won’t see it! The dropped ceiling helps to hide it, as well as bringing it closer to the hob. For an extra design feature, considering mirroring the island shape as this provides an extra design dimension,' says Richard Davonport, managing director at Davonport, a luxury bespoke kitchen brand based in the UK.
Richard also suggests maintaining the integrity of your home's architecture and interior design when introducing a new range hood. Davonport's designs often make use of existing chimneys and fireplaces to fit the range hood in with a kitchen's original character.
'With a little altering, we can repurpose the fireplace or chimney element and sit the oven or range within the old hearth. Doing so keeps the integrity of the room, with mantles and period features remaining intact,' says Richard.
Richard Davonport is a luxury cabinetmaker and designer, and the Managing Director of Davonport, a bespoke kitchen brand based in the UK.
5. Accentuate with strategic lighting
If you're left with a design that features your range hood prominently, there's still quite a bit that can be done to make your kitchen look its best. Artem Kropovinsky, interior designer and founder of New York City-based firm Arsight, suggests using a deliberate kitchen lighting scheme around the range hood to ensure it's both visually appealing and easy to use.
'Use such strategic lighting as LED strips to bring the hood into focus and make it a sophisticated accent that will catch everyone’s eye,' he says.
When it comes to designing the range hood itself, Artem says creating a contrast between stainless steel and warm wood tones brings an elegant look into a kitchen decor scheme. Further, textural details like dimensional copper 'convert the hood from just functional to real fashion,' he says.
Based in New York, Artem Kropovinsky, founder of Arsight, has a decade of extensive and considerable global design experience. Prioritizing minimalism, sustainability, and authenticity, Artem, alongside his team of professionals, works on projects in the US and worldwide.
6. Make a statement
If you're starting to see the potential of a thoughtfully designed range hood, consider going the opposite route of hiding it away, and make yours an eye-catching focal point of the room.
Amber Shay, National VP of Design Studios at Meritage Homes, says that adding a textured finish to your range hood takes the look a long way.
'Choose a textured paint finish for the range hood that mimics materials like plaster or lime wash. These finishes add subtle texture to the surface and help the range hood blend seamlessly into the wall,' says Amber.
She suggests 'drywall with soft curves,' which will bring a touch of 'elegance' to your space, and a customizable surface that never dates. Easy fixes, like this Plaster Finish Wallpaper from Wayfair, take the design scheme to the next level in an instant. Stone facades also work beautifully in light neutrals like whites and creams, she says.
On the whole, Amber says oversized range hoods seem to be back in style. And there's still plenty of time to update this overlooked element of your kitchen in the new year.
'One kitchen trend we’re seeing already in 2024 is to design large cooking centers that utilize oversized hoods as a defining element of the space. These hoods often serve as a focal point, making a bold statement in the kitchen,' she says.
Amber Shay is the National VP of Design Studios at Meritage Homes, a real estate and construction company based in the United States.
Bring your kitchen's design to life with these unexpectedly stunning solutions for incorporating a range hood. Your space will toe the line between function and elegance, impressing guests and allowing your cooking skills to thrive.
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I am a News Writer at Homes & Gardens, with a focus on interior design. Most recently, I worked with Better Homes & Gardens, where I wrote and edited content about home decor, gardening tips, food news, and more. Before that, I studied Journalism and English Literature at New York University. I’ve moved around quite a bit in the last several years, most recently making the trip to London, and love transforming each new space into a comfortable retreat that feels like home. When it comes to decor, I’m most drawn to unique vintage finds and calming colors.
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